Depakote and Depakote ER (extended release) both contain valproate semisodium or Divalproex sodium as the activeingredients. It is used as the medication against different types of seizures,alone or combined with other seizure drugs. This medication is also used astreatment of manic-depressive disorder, especially in the manic phase of the illness,major depressive disorder and neuropathic pain. Some doctors may prescribeDepakote as the prevention therapy for people suffering from severe migraineheadaches.
Adverse Effects in Children and Adults
In children younger than 2 years old, Depakote can rarelycause very serious liver failure. Liver problems are more likely to happen tochildren using combination of medications for the treatment of their seizures. Also,children suffering from metabolic disorders or from some mental impairmentcaused by brain diseases are more likely to experience liver problems whenusing Depakote. Brain infections and injuries, MS (multiple sclerosis) and Creutzfeld-Jacobor Huntington diseases are some of the diseases that might make your child moreprone to liver failure associated with the use of this drug.
Depakote may cause damage to your liver. Because of that, ifyou notice: nausea, vomiting, low fever, abdominal pains, loss of appetite,changes in the color of urine and stool or yellowing of the skin and/or eyes,it is necessary to call for urgent medical help. Pancreatitis is also rare butlife-threatening condition that might develop in people using Depakote.
Adults using Depakote are prone to mood changes, anxiety,depression or hyperactivity. Any of these changes must be reported to yourdoctor.
There is a possibility that the patients using Depakotemight develop suicidal or thoughts about hurting themselves. Because of that, itis important that people around the patient know that fact and watch closelyfor any unusual change in the mood and behavior. If you are on the treatmentwith Depakote, never miss your appointment at the doctor’s.
Certain people need to adjust the dose or take special testsin order to use Depakote safely. These are patients suffering from HIV or CMV (cytomegalovirus)infections and bleeding and blood clotting disorders. Also, anyone who has ahistory of head injuries, coma or brain disorder and a family history of infantdeaths without known causes should be careful before starting the treatmentwith this drug. Urea cycle disorder in the family or liver diseases are also factorsthat should not be neglected.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding moms should not takeDepakote. This medication is classified as FDA pregnancy category D of themedications, meaning that is known to cause harm to unborn children and nursingbabies. Your doctor must be informed if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Neverstart the treatment with Depakote without your doctor’s recommendation.